Yesterday a friend and I hiked to Cabin Lake, one of the many cirque lakes in the Cube Iron/Silcox roadless area in the Plains/Thompson Falls District of the Lolo National Forest here in western Montana. Following are photos of the trail and, of course, the lake itself which sits at about 6,000 feet.
The destination, Cabin Lake
In several places along the road to the trail head, which follows the west fork of Thompson River, it was necessary to build retaining walls to keep the rock slides from covering the road.
At the trail head, this bridge for foot and horse traffic spans the stream that issues from the lake. It is very welcome because the stream would be very difficult to ford.
Along the bottom part of the trail it is covered by the golden leaves of Black cottonwoods; the “Yellow brick road”.
A smaller stream which is fortunately fordable without going over the top of hiking boots crosses the trail.
The lake sits in a glacier-formed recession just above and to the right of the cliffs in the background.
From the middle part of the trail you can see the mountainside that slopes down to the trail head.
The trail tops out in a saddle, then descends down to the lake which sits just below the peak in the distance.
This and the remaining photos are of the lake itself.
Every year of so I hike up the trail to Mount Headley because of the beauty of the mountain and the surrounding country. It was the site of one of the first fire lookouts in Montana and sits at 7400 feet where it looks over many miles of forest in all directions. The four mile trail is rather gentle and it spreads the climb of 1400 feet evenly over its entire length. As a bonus, a short side trail at about the first mile point lets the hiker stand on a sheer, rocky cliff about 500 feet over the south end of a small cirque lake called Image Lake. I will never forget one morning a few years ago when I stood there watching the sun rise and listening to a wolf pack howling on the trail above me and down beside the lake. Mount Headley is an old friend.(The following photos were taken on October 15, 2015)
Terrace Lake sits about due north of one of my favorite places, Mount Headley in the Cube Iron – Silcox Roadless Area, but it is not approachable from that direction, instead, the trail head to the lake is at the end of the West Fork of Fishtrap Creek road: well, not at the very end, but believe me you don’t want to drive on that road any further. At the present time, the trail does not show on any map and the trail sign is missing. Other than that, it’s a cinch to find.
The trail itself was renovated about four years ago and it is the very best trail that I have ever seen. Those who worked on it really knew what they were doing! It winds and climbs about a thousand feet through beautiful forest for about 2 miles to the lake which, …well, I’ll let the photos say the rest.
About half of the following photos are of the trail itself and the balance are of the lake.
I will be away from the computer for awhile; don’t know how long just yet. Will try to catch up with everybody when I return! (The photo doesn’t have anything to do with it, just one of my favorite places that I love to think about.)